So you're making some code to do something, and you'd like to use a chat-pane text message to inform the players about it. Good for you! Now, there's a few things to know when doing this.
Use Span Classes Goddamn
Span classes allow for consistent and informative text formatting.
You may be familiar with span classes if you have previous experience with HTML. There are various types of classes, which can all be found in interface/stylesheet.dm. Make sure to use the appropriate one for the situation!
When you observe someone else doing something
user.visible_message("[user.name] begins welding [src.name]."
John Smith begins welding the vent.
- This one has no span class. It's when you see something mundane and boring.
When you observe yourself doing something
to_chat(user, "<span class='notice'>You begin welding the vent...</span>"
You begin welding the vent...
- This is a notice. Notices show up in simple blue text, and are used for benign informational messages. This notice ends with "...", which implies that the action will take a period of time to complete.
When you can't do something
to_chat(user, "<span class='warning'>You can't vent crawl while you're stunned!</span>"
You can't vent crawl while you're stunned!
- This is a warning! It shows up as simple red text, and are used for things like restriction notifications and machines malfunctioning.
When you see someone getting hurt or something else alarming
user.visible_message("<span class='danger'>[user.name] was shocked by the [src.name]!</span>"
John Smith was shocked by the door!
- This is danger! This is heavier red text, used in situations where someone other than yourself is being harmed or having some other potentionally harmful action taken against them, such as cuffing.
When you're hurt directly
to_chat(target, "<span class='userdanger'>You are absorbed by the changeling!</span>"
You are absorbed by the changeling!
- This is userdanger! Userdanger is used in only one situation: when the person receiving the text message is being directly harmed, such as from attacks or antagonist abilities.